If you were a computer enthusiast in the late 1970s and early 1980s, one of your objects of desire may well have been a Sharp MZ-80K. This was an all-in-one machine from the Japanese electronics giant, and like Commodore’s PET line it included a CRT monitor, full alphanumeric keyboard and cassette tape drive in a smart console.
[Yasushi Enari] is a modeller of miniatures, and while at high school back in 1981 he made a perfect 1/5 scale model of an MZ-80K as an art project. Fast-forward to 2017, and with the help of a Raspberry Pi Zero, a miniature LCD composite video screen, and a Li-Po battery, he’s turned his 1981 model into a functioning computer.
Sadly he was not able to make his tiny 1981 plastic keyboard work, so an external Bluetooth unit is required to perform that function. And he makes no mention of running an MZ-80K emulator on the little machine, either. But the result is a work of art, and an odd collaboration between his adult and teenage self, something we are guessing most readers would be proud to own.
This isn’t the first tiny replica computer we’ve shown you, an Odroid W went into making this tiny Powermac from an American Girl doll’s toy computer.
Thanks [RC2014] for the tip.
16 thoughts on “A Tiny Sharp MZ-80K That Really Works!”
I wonder if capacitive sensors could be placed under the plastic keys? Won’t have the same feel but at least the keyboard might “work”.
Still, good effort in breathing life into the model.
These Mini-builds always disappoint me because of the no working keyboard.
I doubt the cassette drive works either. :P
How good would that be or even mini working disk drive
Use a micro-SD painted to look like a cassette?
Or indeed, a micro-SD could make a nice floppy – nice idea Ron :D
Would be nice to see something scaled down to the size of a microcassette. At that scale the keyboard would be easier to make and type on, too.
Another option might be to put a resistive touch panel under the keyboard, on top of something rigid attached to the base; split the keys apart, if they’re not already, and stick them either to the touch panel or to something thin & flexible to sit on top. Shouldn’t be that hard to map the resistances to keystrokes. Yet another option would be to put a small pin through each key, and use a tethered stylophone-style stylus; suspect you’d need a stylus to operate the keyboard on this anyhow. That said, if you were putting pins through, you might as well go capacitive.
loved assembly language on the mz80k… its inspired me to design a simple character video board for my rc2014…
Somewhere in the dungeons I still have an MZ-70 – the model without the monitor. I modified a B/W TV, simply adding a video input after the tuner, and used that. I’m not sure that has survived into the new millennium. (But then, the MZ-70 hasn’t been powered up in 3 decades, either.)
You mean MZ-700 the one which is retro-compatible with MZ-80K?
Hey, you’re right – it says 700 in big text, then MZ-721 in smaller print below.
It’s a Z80 cpu, isn’t it. I remember writing a 2-pass assembler for it, in Basic.
(That was all I had, before PCs came into existence.)
Programs written for MZ-80 K/C and under certain condition can run on MZ-721 (so you have one with a tape drive) – I would say the main difference is that it has color and a memory bank-switching to allow 64KB RAM instead of 48 KB RAM.
Oh great! it was my very first computer. I should be about eleven year old. Not so long, it has been ditched by my father (while he regrets it now) to make some place. It was like an old friend of mine was shot dead.
That is so ace. I want one
I sated my desire by actually owning one! I think I still have it somewhere. It was the kindling (well, PDP-11s came first) for a lifelong love of and career in computing.
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